Northwest Classic Rally 2014: Day 3

BF Mustang in the Oregon Forest

What a day! Josh and I just finished our second day of rallying. We were up bright and early after a good night’s rest feeling refreshed and focused. Yesterday’s results were less than stellar, so we were determined to improve upon our score and boy did we ever! We still don’t know the official rankings, so we can’t share our times yet, but we can say that we cut our penalties by 60 percent. The most astonishing part though is that our old Mustang is still kicking around after covering nearly 1,000 miles in three days!

Most TSD rallies have traps. The organizers purposely make a few things a little confusing in an attempt to throw you off. Well, we fell for one, but luckily so did 90% of all the other teams! I was a little tough on Josh for the next few miles because he was in the navigator’s seat, but secretly I knew I couldn’t have done any better with all the math. We quickly forgot about the 60 second penalty and got back to work. Many of the other cars were equipped with trip meters that could reset to zero, but our old Mustang only has a hard-to-read odometer, so Josh was stuck with keeping track of our mileage and comparing it to the rally notes.

rally-notes

Many entrants were allowed to use tools to calculate everything, but we chose to enter the vintage class so we had to do everything by hand. It was more of a “seat of the pants” affair with me trying to maintain an average speed while Josh was trying to figure out where we were on the course. It wasn’t easy, but we got in a nice groove and actually passed many of the checkpoints within a few seconds of when we were supposed to. We almost missed another tricky turn, but luckily Josh was quick to catch our error and put us back on track. In my rush to make up the lost time though I got us in a little early in one section. That’s alright though because we were having a good time along the way.

Sometimes when we were driving through the heavily wooded areas, the light would shine through the trees and the shadows would create blind spots. It could make some of the single lane roads sort of scary because you couldn’t see as far as you would have liked. The whole situation reminded me of the scene from Harry and the Hendersons when they hit bigfoot. I had mentioned to Josh that we were in Sasquatch country, but he blew me off. Well, you wouldn’t believe what we spotted in the trees while taking a pit stop. Checkout the video and see if you can spot the big guy! Sure looks familiar…

gullwing-parking-lot-fix

We weren’t the only ones wrenching on our car during the short breaks between some sections. We spotted the owner of this Gullwing getting his hands dirty! Now that is a sight you don’t see everyday. The mixture of cars and owners was great at this event. Everyone was kind and the difference in income levels was all forgotten once we got out there on the road. We weren’t sure how our rowdy Mustang would be accepted, but just about everyone we talked to loved the car. A few did ask when we were going to paint it, but most got what we were going for.

Porsche GT3 RS hunting us down

The last leg of the rally had some of the best roads of the whole event. Lots of fast sweepers and some beautiful scenery. We were almost giggling with joy as we blasted through those trees, but just then I saw something approach in my rearview mirror. I shouted to Josh, “GT3 RS”! A local was out for a little spin and they were hunting us down. This was one of those times that I didn’t mind being passed though, so as soon as the road opened up a bit I let them go by. The sound was unforgettable and just added to the whole experience.

Mustang and the other finishers

We arrived back at our hotel feeling tired, but very satisfied. We had completed our first rally. It wasn’t anything like the high speed endurance rallies of old, but we still felt a little connection to those heroic men and women who raced on some of the most grueling events ever held. We were especially proud of our old Mustang. Although ratty in appearance, she performed beautifully and to the astonishment of all the other participants, actually finished without a single breakdown.

Mustang - Navigator's View

While most everyone else celebrated, we took the Mustang back out on another run so Josh could have a turn at the wheel. The exhaust was rattling and the transmission was on its last leg,  but we both had big smiles on our faces after having enjoyed one of the most exciting weekends of our automotive careers. We made some new friends and had a really enjoyable time. Car shows are fun, but events in which you actually get to use your car as it was intended are definitely best. So, anyone up for a drive?

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Comments

  1. C Bryant

    Must share one last word of advice on these rallys.On the last leg,you want to go like hell,pass everyone and as you cross the finish line jump out of the car and yell “First!!”

    • Jesse Staff

      Yeah, well I was tempted to do just that! Didn’t think the other participants would be too impressed though…

  2. Jeff V.

    1000 miles in 3 days already! Go guys, great fun. That Gullwing is probably costing $100/mile in depreciation but cars are made to be driven and we know some people have more money than brains and vice versa. A great event to get BarnFinds.com more attention.

  3. Don Andreina

    Love that sun flared shot with the stang between the Volvo and the E-type. Well done and looking forward to your next adventure.

  4. paul

    Great stuff, your no longer in the novice class.

  5. geomechs geomechs Member

    Glad to see you’re still having fun. Good luck on the rest of your journey.

  6. DT

    viva la vida loca

  7. DT

    Come on ,everyone knows there is no Bigfoot,but……… D.B. Cooper is alive!

  8. MikeW

    Great job guys. I’m just wondering how the brakes held up when you got in a hurry. I know the stock ones would glaze over fast and be worthless. You wouldn’t want to run into one of those trees.

    • Jesse Staff

      The brakes did great! I was very careful to not ride them though and always did a little bake check before approaching any fast corners. Front discs may be in the car’s future but we were impressed by how well the drums did actually.

      • MikeW

        were you using the metal linings?

  9. TuckerTorpedo

    Wow, just think- one hubcap from that Gullwing is worth more than the Mustang- but who’s having more worry free fun? Good luck Uncle Jesse!

  10. jim s

    the reason you were able to finish without a breakdown is because of all the work that was put into car getting it ready. great job. will the transmission hold up for the drive home and where is the oil going? this is fun. thanks

    • Josh Staff

      Hey Jim, so far the transmission is holding up great. We are almost out of Oregon and we haven’t had any problems with it. The biggest issue we’ve had so far is from the damaged exhaust system. Its leaking exhaust into the cab, so we had to track down the holes in the floor and plug them. Even with the terrible heat in we’re in right now, she’s running great! From what we can tell the oil is leaking out the oil pan gasket. Each stop we check the oil and add a little if necessary.

  11. stanley stalvey

    You guys made a really great story out of this project. I read every word with great interest. I’m surprised that the old Mustang performed so well for you. That’s only because of all the good work you put into it before the event. Well done.!

    • Josh Staff

      Thanks Stanley! It was a lot of work, but we had such an amazing time that it was worth it! Hopefully our experience will motivate more people to get their projects back on the road. We just wish we had roads like the ones we were on this weekend in our backyard!

  12. Steve Darden

    So when you guys putting on some event like this?

    • Josh Staff

      Funny you ask that Steve. We have been throwing the idea back and forth for a while and this experience might just be the tipping point! We are going to hunt down some good roads first and then we will put something together. It will probably be more a tour and less a TSD though, as we lack the rally planning skills necessary to come up with something as technical as the NWC rally. As soon as we have something figure out, we will let everyone know!

  13. Chris A.

    Great story and great results! Good to actually see someone use a 300SL Gullwing in the same event as your Mustang. Bet you were the only entry with a genuine bullet hole! The “Spirit of Bonnie & Clyde” is such a great story. Now for the next event, how about the “Barn Find 5K”. All cars welcome, but a special class for entries that cost less than $5K for everything. I should have kept my 236,000 mile Volvo 850 5 speed. An interior, tranny rebuild, good exhaust system and disc brake upgrade and you’re good to go for next year’s Rallye.. Maybe a vintage Halda Speed Pilot or a Curta calculator would help your score.

  14. Dolphin Member

    I like a lot of the suggestions for a Barn Finds-organized event. I’m not sure that a TSD rally would be the way to go because those are pretty technical and need staff at various points along the route.

    A do-able idea would be something like ‘Run your barn-find through some great roads in the West’. The rewards would be meeting new people you share the hobby with, and the scenic drive with them. Who knows? Maybe people would like to do their summer vacation around an event like that.

    I like Chris A’s idea of special classes, like a class for cars that cost less than $5K. Maybe other special classes based on age, or a ‘Preservation’ class for unrestored/unmodified cars, or a mechanical-only refurbished class to promote reliability in unrestored, ‘preserved’ cars.

    If the tour event was designed like that it could promote Barn Finds and get people thinking more about the less-expensive end of the hobby since not everyone ends up collecting 300SLs.

    Maybe get some of the commercial end of the hobby in as sponsors, like TCP Global, who make POR paints, gas tank repair products, etc.

    The closest example is the Colorado Grand, which runs through some of the best scenic roads in Colorado and is non-competitive.
    http://co1000.com/about-the-grand

    Anyway, doing the Northwest Classic is a great first event to run with the Barn Finds Mustang.

    • Josh Staff

      I love the idea Dolphin! Jesse and I will discuss it and see what we can come up with. I’ve got a couple roads in mind, but we will want to find the right route. It will need to have great roads, but have services close enough to get parts and fuel to keep everyone up and running.

      • paul

        Please keep it more toward the middle of the country.

    • DT

      Eastwood

  15. Darrel H

    I spoke with you briefly at the rally. You are correct that a competitive rally is much more interesting than a show or tour. My finishing position wasn’t what I would have liked but it was better than when I last competed in 2012. Hope to see you at the NW Classic in 2015.

    • Jesse Staff

      It was good to meet you Darrel. If I’m not mistaken, you did pretty dang good! Either way, it was a good time for all. See you next year!

  16. Clay Bryant

    Great rally would be in northwest Nebraska around the Niobrara(one of the 10 best canoeing spots in America),run to Mt.Rushmore,down thru Wyoming to Colorado.Go to VisitNebraska.org. and ask for a 2014 travel guide and you decide.Eyeball country from Carhenge,Fort Robinson,Toadstool National Park(On the cover) and a bunch of others.Not the Nebraska you thought you knew.

  17. Jeff V.
  18. RickyM

    Well done guys! Fantastically great job. Glad you are having fun in the Mustang. Just what a classic car is meant for – to be used! Hope you made it home ok.

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